News Archive


Jason and Josh tell us how they feel at the finish

Interview with Capts. Hamish Reid and Nick Dennison

Hamish and Nick are the only other pair to have rowed around Britain. They attended the finish and talk here about the comparisons between their journey in 2010 and this year’s race.


Two west country men who have spent the last 26 days rowing 2,000 miles non-stop around Britain set a new world record when they reached Tower Bridge at at 12.54BST today (Friday).

Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr, from Salcombe, Devon knocked 11 days off the existing world record when they came home after 41 days 4 hours and 38minutes at sea in a rowing boat no bigger than a family saloon Read more >


Latest estimate for finish: Between 12.00 and 13.00

GBRow 2103 race organisors now expect Savoir Faire’s arrival back at Tower Bridge in London to be between 12.00 and 13.00 on Friday, July 12. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr, from Salcombe, will set a new world record for a pair rowing around Britain of 41 days.


This morning Jason and Josh are at anchor near the Greenwich Peninsula, just down river from the O2 Dome. They will make the last leg once the tide turns at about 11.30. They will row to the finish at Tower Bridge, before meeting families and wellwishers at HMS PRESIDENT, the Royal Naval Reserve Station near St Katharine’s Dock.

NEW BLOG from Savoir Faire 19.45 Jul 11.

Tonight Jason and Josh are at anchor just up river from the QE II bridge at the Dartford Crossing. They will wait for the tide to turn in the early hours of the morning and make their way on the flood tide to near Greenwich. There they will anchor again for the last tide to the finish tomorrow lunchtime. New blog in tonight. Read more>

VIDEOBLOG Jason McKinlay of Savoir Faire Jul 10

Jason looks back on rounding the corner at Cape Wrath and the roller coaster sea conditions they found when they got there.


Bang on time! Savoir Faire hoped to reach Aldeburgh, Suffolk by 10.00 this morning to be on track to finish on Friday. At 10 am exactly they off Aldeburgh, doing 4knots with just one rower at the oars. They plan to keep going even when the tide turns. Read more>


Josh Tarr

Josh Tarr

There’s now less than 100 miles to go to the finish, folks! Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay in Team Savoir Faire are now south of Southwold, heading towards Felixstowe. At this stage we are still looking at a Friday finish at Tower Bridge in London and a new World Record for a pair rowing around Britain. More later


Savoir Faire pair Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are in a hurry to get home. Tonight they had past Great Yarmouth and were making 5knots, taking full advantage of the tide.


Jason McKinlay

Jason McKinlay

Savoir Faire are at anchor just south of Happisburgh on the Norfolk coast, 139miles from the GBRow 2013 finish. At this stage it now looks likely Jason McKinlay, left, and Josh Tarr will reach Tower Bridge early on Friday afternoon (July 12). This could change during the week due to weather and tidal conditions. Read more>

VIDEO from Savoir Faire Jul 09

Jason McKinlay of Savoir Faire rowing hard off the Norfolk coast to get to the finish of GBRow and a new world record:


Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Team Savoir Faire are predicting they will reach the finish of GBRow 2013 the world’s toughest rowing race on Friday or Saturday. They are now just four miles off the Norfolk coast, near Sheringham. Read more>


Savoir Faire are eating up the miles. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are now just 20 miles from the Norfolk coast and 170 miles from the finish at Tower Bridge. A cracking new world record is about to be set. Expect them home later this week, if the weather holds.


Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are more than halfway through their ‘big crossing’ – the 100-mile leap from Yorkshire to Norfolk. With another day of cracking weather ahead of them, the pair in Savoir Faire are now 185miles from the finish at Tower Bridge.


Savoir Faire are now at anchor – a third of the way through the ‘big crossing’ direct to Norfolk from Flaborough Head. After completing nearly 20 miles of the 100 miles crossing, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are now just over 200 miles from the finish.

RACE UPDATE 16.00BST  Jul 07

They’ve gone for the drop, folks! Conditions are judged just right for Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Savoir Faire to be able to make The Big One – the 100-mile row direct from Flamborough Head to Cromer on the north Norfolk coast. They are now more than ten miles into the two-day crossing.  Just over 250 miles left to the finish.


They’re on target, folks! Savoir Faire will reach Flamborough Head within the hour – just as they predicted. Once they reach the way point, near Bridlington, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr will make a decision whether to strike out direct to Norfolk or hug the Lincolnshire coast. The weather has come good and is perfect for striking out. More later

VIDEO from Jason of Savoir Faire Jul 06

A glimpse into the life of a long distance rower – Jason shows us how he uses tide charts to work out when the tides will be in Savoir Faire’s favour or against them:


Savoir Faire now at anchor just off the harbour mouth at Whitby, North Yorkshire, resting up and waiting for the tide to turn. 266miles left to finish.


Team Savoir Faire have set themselves a target of rowing 50 miles in 24 hours, which means they will reach Bridlington tomorrow morning. Then they will have to decide whether to take a big risk and row 100 miles across open water. Read more>


Exactly five weeks since GBRow began on Jun 1, Savoir Faire – the only team still racing after 35 days – have reached Hartlepool, with less than 300 miles left to the finish. They are still battling SW winds but the wind will switch in their favour tomorrow. Read more>

VIDEO from Jason and Josh of Savoir Faire Jul 05

Jason and Josh in calmer conditions off the coast of Northumberland today

RACE UPDATE 22.00 Jul 05

After almost 24 hours at the oars, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Savoir Faire are now just north of Newcastle, with 308 miles to go to the finish. Winds that have been strong from the south all day are now easing.

Portrait of Chris UsborneRACE DIRECTOR’S BLOG Jul 05

GBRow 2013 race director Chris Usborne calculates that Savoir Faire – the last boat still racing – will reach the finish at Tower Bridge in about a week, if the weather continues to hold. His latest blog includes a long chat with Jason McKinlay. Read more>


They’re on the move folks! After 18 frustrating hours at anchor yesterday, Savoir Faire are now just north of Amble, with 327miles to the finish. They will pass Newcastle today as the weather – and particularly the wind – looks to improve over the weekend. Read more>


1044651_409599592486642_1749633104_nSavoir Faire are still at anchor on the Northumberland coast, just south of the Farne Islands, pinned down by strong headwinds. Check out this latest photo, left, from Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr of life in the claustrophobic cabin. Imagine spending five weeks in here, unable to leave the boat! The wind is expected to drop later tonight and the only boat still left in the race will hopefully continue the long row home.


Strong southerly winds have forced Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr to anchor again, north of Craster on the Northumberland coast, with 340 miles to go to the finish. Read more>


Just over 24 hours of continuous rowing have brought Savoir Faire almost 50 miles closer to the finish at Tower Bridge. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are now past Holy Island and heading towards the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast. Josh said tonight: “Been a good day we should be able to keep going until the early hours. Good weather helps!”


After 16 days in Scottish waters, Team Savoir Faire have crossed the border and are now heading for Berwick-on-Tweed and the finish, 357miles away at Tower Bridge. More later.


England ahoy! In the next hour Savoir Faire will cross the border into English waters. After rowing non-stop since 19.30 yesterday, Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay are south of Eyemouth are travelling at almost 3knots, making great progress.


After rowing all night, Savoir Faire, the only team still racing in GBRow 2013 have now crossed the Firth of Forth in some of the worst sea conditions of the entire race. Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay are currently off Dunbar in Berwickshire – just 18 miles from English waters and 377miles to the finish. Read more>

VOICEBLOG Jason McKinlay of Savoir Faire July 02

BLOG from Savoir Faire Jul 02

New blog in from Josh Tarr of Savoir Faire at anchor near St Andrews: Real progress at last; Wind; English waters and Fruit & Nut bars! Read more>


Savoir Faire are safely across the mouth of the River Tay and at anchor in the lee of land near St Andrews, waiting for expected storm later. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr, the last team still competing in GBRow 2013, now have less than 400 miles to row to the finish.


Savoir Faire, the only boat left competing in GBRow 2013, is now 2miles past the point wheere they were forced to turn back yesterday. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are heading for Fife Ness, six miles away. They now have less than 40miles to English waters.


Savoir Faire are on the move again, after almost 24 hours at anchor. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr are now heading south from Arbroath towards Ness Point, rowing with the tide but against a light headwind. They have made around 2.5miles in the last hour. More later

VIDEO from Peter Banks on Youtube

Islanders supporter Peter Banks shot video footage of the team as they passed the Dome.

More photos and comment on Peter’s BlogSpot blog


Message from Josh Tarr on Savoir Faire, currently at anchor in Arbroath harbour: “We’re weighing up moving around 5pm, to Fife Ness. It should be possible but we’re trying to be a little cautious because there’s a big southerly coming in tomorrow morning that we’ll need to shelter from!” Watch your trackers later this afternoon, folks…


One month after GBRow 2013 began, Savoir Faire, the only team left racing, are at anchor again in Arbroath, considering their options with gales forecast soon. Read more>

BLOG from Savoir Faire 23.30BST Jun 30

Today was a great test for us. We saw a small window of opportunity and decided to try and get across to Fife Ness as winds showed 15-20mph against…Read more >

BLOG from Savoir Faire back in Arbroath Jun 30

Savoir Faire wind off ArbroathMade it back in…In excess of 32mph local fishermen said! Didn’t show on our charts. Out in 14 hours, battered. And back in 2.5hours. Positive in many ways and we’re in great spirits. Our decision-making was spot on in tricky times…All safe.. live to fight another day. Jason



Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay are back in the safety of Arbroath harbour, after retreating from dangerous wind and waves. The Savoir Faire pair backtracked almost five miles after reporting that conditions in the North Sea were just too dangerous.


After battling headwinds all day and making just five miles, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr sent a message to race HQ: “Too dangerous. Turning back into Arbroath if possible.” Savoir Faire are currently off Carnoustie, just over 400 miles from the finish. More later.

BLOG from Savoir Faire 12.00BST Jun 30

Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr rowed for four hours this morning to make just three miles against a 25+mph wind – but are encouraged not disheartened. Read more>


Savoir Faire, the only boat left racing in GBRow 2013, left Arbroath harbour in the last hour or so to cross the River Tay. Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay are enduring headwinds again today but still making 1.7knots. The English border is now just 45 miles away.


After nine hours together on the oars, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Savoir Faire rowed 15.1miles today against a strong headwind. “If you crawled on your hands and knees you’d have gone further,” said Jason. They are now at anchor in the harbour at Arbroath, 405 miles from the finish, waiting for the wind to drop again. Read more>


Exactly four weeks since six boats left Tower Bridge to compete in GBRow 2013, all eyes are on Savoir Faire, the only boat left racing. This morning they are near Arbroath, north of Dundee, 405 miles from the finish – with strong headwinds predicated. Read more>

PHOTO ALBUM of Islanders on final 30 miles to the finish

IMG_0097New photos posted from Liz Harrison who followed the Islanders up the River Thames on the final leg of their journey to the Tower Bridge finish. Liz Harrison photos

VIDEO: BEST WISHES for Savoir Faire Jun 28

The Islanders took a short break in their celebrations last night to record a Good Luck message for fellow competitors Savoir Faire, still battling their way southwards for a World Record of their own.


Savoir Faire are on the move again after spending almost a day at anchor pinned down by bad weather. Currently doing 4knots, they are south of Stonehaven with 414miles to the finish at London’s Tower Bridge. Read more>


IMG_3348Dear Islanders,
Very many congratulations indeed on not only winning the Round GB Rowing Race but also breaking Will’s old world record. Bet you enjoyed the hot showers and good food last night as well as a beer or two!
David, Neil, Julian and Stu – Team Hallin

BLOG from Savoir Faire near Aberdeen Jun 28

In a new blog from Savoir Faire, currently at anchor south of Aberdeen, Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay reveal how they are going to make one big push before bad weather sets in later today. Read more>


The focus for the rest of the race is now firmly on second-place Savoir Faire who are also on course for a new World Record – for a pair rowing around Britain.

Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay have been hit by poor weather near Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen. Jason reports: “6 hours rowed. Weather terrible. Have to stop again. Winds against all week. Potentially not going anywhere for a while. Not an enjoyable phase of the row. Still smiling.”

PHOTOS from the finish June 27

GBRow_M3889First set of photos from the finish now posted photos from the finish

VIDEO INTERVIEW with the Islanders 19.30BST June 27


At 17.25 BST today the Islanders set a new world record for unassisted rowing around Britain with a time of 26 days 9 hours 9 minutes and 58 seconds – shaving over 12 hours off the previous record set in 2005. Well done the Islanders!

Don’t forget they have done this in support of their chosen charity the Neurology and Metabolics Ward at the Evelina Children’s Hospital – please donate now in support of this record breaking row.GBRow_M3742

UPDATE 16.45BST June 27

Slight delay to expected arrival, ETA now 17.30BST

UPDATE 16.00BST June 27

Distance to finish 4.1 nautical miles, speed 4.2 knots, see you at Tower Bridge in an hours time then.

UPDATE 14.00BST June 27

Islanders now past the QE2 Dartford Crossing bridge and still making 5 knots. ETA at Tower Bridge 17.00BST.

UPDATE 13.00 BST June 27

The Islanders are now at Tilbury and making 5 knots despite a headwind. This puts them on track to reach the Queen Elizabeth 2 Bridge around 14.00BST. Precise arrival time at Tower Bridge is still hard to predict due to the headwind.

UPDATE 09.45BST June 27

The Islanders left anchor at 09.28 this morning and have now begun the final 33 miles of their journey. We’ll update you when they pass under QE2 Bridge, the next landmark in this final leg.


DSC_2437A new world record is definitely on today! Race leaders the Islanders are now anchored off Canvey Island in the Thames Estuary, waiting for the tide to turn. At 09.00, they will up anchor and begin the 33-mile row to the finish at Tower Bridge.

At around 13.00-14.00 they will pass under the QEII bridge at the Dartford Crossing.

Between 15.00- 16.00 they go through the Thames Barrier at Woolwich.

16.15-17.00 Estimated finish at Tower Bridge to set a new world record for rowing non-stop around Britain.


If you cannot make it into London for the spectacular finish, you can watch LIVE on We will stream pictures live from Tower Bridge starting at around 4pm this afternoon. See history being made…


The Islanders are back on track after a scare this evening when a squall threatened to blow them off world record pace. Alan Morgan on their boat, the Black Oyster, south of Clacton, reports: “The lads are pulling like there’s no tomorrow and we’re back up on schedule.”

The Islanders are now just over 50 miles to the finishin London and hope to cross the line at Tower Bridge by 5pm tomorrow afternoon. Read more>

PHOTO ALBUM of the Islanders off Felixstowe June 26

DSC_2437Stuart Cock from the Islanders’ sponsor Mersea Homes and Janus van Helfteren , with Hamish Cock and Old sea dog Jonny Milgate went out to find The Islanders this afternoon on ‘Cora’. They found them two or so miles from Felixstowe , well on their way to the Thames. ‘They looked as fit as butcher’s dogs and were going very strong in great conditions’ according to Janus. We’ve posted the photos in a Facebook photo album

Photos by Janus van Helfteren

10.00BST Jun 26 – A New World Record is ON!

GBRow 2013 race leaders, the Islanders, could arrive back at the finish at London’s Tower Bridge tomorrow afternoon (Thurs). Skipper Josh Taylor hopes to reach Southend by 10.00 on Thursday to catch the flood tide to reach Tower Bridge by 17.00 hours – taking around 12 hours off the world record. If they miss that tide window, they will catch the next tide and arrive around 5am on Friday morning – still in time to break the record.

Andrew Easton was birdwatching this morning and spotted the Islanders off Ness Point:

Islanders off Ness Point Jun 26


With just under 48 hours left to beat the world record for rowing around Britain, GBRow 2013 leaders, the Islanders, are now less than 100 miles from the finish. Will they make it? They are now at Lowestoft, with a tail wind still helping to drive them on home for the last 90 miles to the finish at Tower Bridge. Josh Taylor and his crew need to go under Tower Bridge before 05.30 on Friday morning to claim the record and £100,000! Second-place Savoir Faire re 500 miles from home, after safely rounding John O’Groats last night.

RACE UPDATE Breaking News 22.35 Jun 25

They’ve done it, folks! Second-place Savoir Faire are now on the home run, after successfully navigating past John O’Groats. Just over 500 miles to the finish.


GBRow 2013 leaders the Islanders are now off East Anglia – their home waters. Racing at more than six knots, they are determined to reach London -now less than 150 miles away – in time to set a new world record for rowing around Britain. Meanwhile, Savoir Faire in second place are just about to pass John O’Groats, the most northerly point on the British mainland. Read more>


The Islanders have almost reached the Norfolk coast after cutting a straight line across the edge of the North Sea for the last 24 hours.

Savoir Faire made fast progress along the north coast of Scotland earlier today but the tide is now against them. They plan a final assault on John O’Groats around midnight…Read more >

BLOG from Savoir Faire at Cape Wrath

Second place Savoir Faire – Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr – will today turn south at John O’Groats. Jason has sent a new blog from the farthest north-west point in this incredible 2,000-mile race around mainland Britain. Read more>


GBRow 2013 race leaders, the Islanders, are now almost half way to the Norfolk coast. Josh Taylor and his crew in the Black Oyster had make the 100-mile leap from Flamborough head to Cromer to keep alive their hopes of setting a new the world record for rowing around Britain. They are now 190miles from the finish with just under three days left to beat the record of 26 days 21 hrs and 14 mins. Meanwhile, 2nd place Savoir Faire are almost half way across the top of Britain, with 30miles to go to John O’Groats and the psychological boost of the turn for home…

RACE UPDATE – Breaking news – 21.00BST June 24

Savoir Faire have finally been able to make a break for it and are round Cape Wrath at the north western tip of Scotland. This means they now have a helpful tailwind and are currently making a speed of 5 knots!

Meanwhile leaders the Islanders are now off Hull and heading direct to Norfolk, with 221 miles left to the finish. With little more than 3 full days rowing left to beat the world record they will have to cover more than 70 miles a day. It’s do-able but it is going to be a nailbiting few days.

VIDEO From the Islanders ‘The Dolphin Whisperer’ June 24

Some great new footage just in from the Islanders of their encounters with Dolphins in calm waters a few days ago. Apparently the way to communicate with Dolphins is through finger clicking…

AMAZING BLOG from the Islanders June 24

GBRow2013_5138An amazing blog just in from Alan Morgan, in the North Sea off Scarborough. In it he reveals the Islanders are putting so much energy into propelling their boat, the Black Oyster, along in huge seas and 40-foot swells that the rowers are passing out at the end of each two-hour rowing shift. Read more>


After nearly 48 hours at anchor, Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay in Savoir Faire are on the move. They are attempting to round Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point in GBRow 2013, the world’s toughest rowing race. Meanwhile race leaders, the Islanders, are battling against the tide off Scarborough, with 250 miles to go to the finish.


GBRow 2013 leaders, the Islanders, have had cracking night, making more than 40 miles in the last 12 hours. They are now off Scarborough, with 256 miles to the finish – after recording a top speed of 7.8knots. With a tail wind, will they strike out for the Norfolk coast to give themselves the best chance of claiming the world record and that amazing £100,000 bonus – the biggest prize ever in rowing? Read more>


Race leaders the Islanders reached another milstone tonight. They are now less than 300 miles from the finish line in London. The four-man crew are now off Sunderland, rowing their boat the Black Oyster at four knots. Meanwhile, second place Savoir Faire have spend 24 hours at anchor just near Cape Wrath, waiting for 25knot headwinds to abate.


As the recent blogs from both teams show, it’s a challenging time in this tough race. Both teams are in with a chance of breaking records, both have had a frustrating 24 hours with adverse winds… Read more >

BLOG from Josh Tarr of Savoir Faire 14.30BST Jun 23

Josh talks about the frustrations of having a force 8 gale blowing head on. As he says “it just goes to show how tough it is to get around this island” Read more >

BLOG from Jason McKinlay of Savoir Faire 14.00BST Jun 23

A tribute from Jason to his Mum on her birthday reveals a little of what drives adventurers to do things like rowing round Britain… Read more >

QUOTE OF THE DAY from the Islanders 13.00BST Jun 23

“If there’s a hell…You might want to go there for some R&R. Before rowing around Great Britain…”


The Islanders are back in English waters after spending frustrating time at anchor in the face of strong winds yesterday. Can they still break that elusive fastest time World Record? It’s 350 miles to go and there is 5 days left, so – to succeed, they need to row at least 70 miles a day all the way in. It’s still possible… Read more >


The Race Director spoke to Savoir Faire skipper, Jason McKinlay, at 17:15 local today. Jason and Josh are as focussed as always – sharp and aware of the worsening weather developing around them. They are currently safely and sensibly tucked away at anchor, sheltering from the inbound storm, with thunder and lightning seen ahead. Read more >


It’s a wet and windy Saturday morning across the UK and both racing boats in GB Row 2013 are forced to anchor as they battle opposing winds on either side of mainland Scotland. Team Savoire Faire continue their inspirational pairs challenge, wanting to get round Cape Wrath late tomorrow to take advantage of the Northerlies due later that day. Read more >

BLOG from Jason McKinley of Savoir Faire Jun 21

20132106A blog post from Jason in reflective mood this evening having rowed a shift in calm conditions compared to this morning’s tough session. Jason explains why their tracker path headed backwards for a while…Read more >

Photo: the mountains of the Scottish Isles as seen from Savoir Faire this morning


Race leaders the Islanders battle a headwind as they make a break for the far side of the Firth of Forth. On the other side of Scotland the wind has swung round for Savoir Faire but now there is the threat of a storm before they reach Cape Wrath…Read more >


The Islanders now have less 400 miles to go to the finish. The GBRow 2013 race leaders are just 40miles, as the crow flies, from the English border. Given a fair wind they could still reach London before 05.30 next Friday to set a new world record. Savoir Faire in second place are heading towards Cape Wrath, with a possible storm brewing. Read more>


At exactly 05.30 this morning, race leaders The Islanders have just seven days left to beat the existing World Record for the fastest time to row non-stop and unassisted around Britain’s mainland. To beat the record they have to be back under Tower Bridge in London before 05.30 on the morning of Friday, June 28. With seven days to go, the four-man crew are south of Aberdeen, 417 nautical miles from the finish. Read more>


Race leaders the Islanders have battled on bravely against headwinds and tides, desperately keeping up their daily average mileage to keep the world record in sight. Just over 420 miles to the finish. Meanwhile, Savoir Faire in second place are pushing north to reach Cape Wrath, 70 miles away, before the wind switches to northerly – perfect for cruising down the North Sea next week.


Because of continuing headwinds, the Islanders have had to change their plan of heading straight for Northumberland from Aberdeen. They are now hugging the coast until a windshift allows them to head due south. But as Chris Usborne reveals in his Race Director’s blog both teams in GBRow 2013 are chasing down world records. Read more>

VIDEO The Islanders rowing at 04.00BST June 20

A short clip of the Islanders rowing strongly at 4am just north of Aberdeen as they set out for today’s big row across the edge of the North Sea.


Race leaders the Islanders are going for the drop! In a bid to beat the world record for rowing round Britain, they are taking the gamble of shooting straight from Aberdeen to Northumberland, 100 miles across open water. Stay on the tracker, folks! Read more>


First-place team, the Islanders, have successfully made the 60-crossing of the Moray Firth and are now 2 miles off the fishing port of Fraserburgh, north of Peterhead. With tail winds predicted from this weekend, will they hug the coast or keep out to sea and head straight to Norfolk? Keep watching rhe tracker folks! Savoir Faire, in second, have a fair wind behind them and are now just 25 miles south of the Skye Bridge.

BLOG from Josh Tarr of Savoir Faire 20.00BST June 19

994813_401731609940107_947460263_nWe’re frustratingly close to turning north for the Isle of Skye but the wind is holding us in.. It’s set to calm down any minute so we’ll try again at 8pm..

We’re keen to get moving in order to make a tidal window at the Isle of Skye 11am tomorrow. It’s almost 40 miles away so it’s a big ask but nothing ventured….. Read more >


VOICEBLOG James Plumley of the Islanders June 19


Race leaders the Islanders are now less than 500 miles from the finish – 495nm – to be exact, after rounding John O’Groats early this morning. With a light tail wind they are now almost half-way across the Moray Firth. Meanwhile, headwinds have caused second-place Savopir Faire to remain at anchor near Tobermory. The Savoir Faire pair have just send in a new blog. Read more>

VIDEO Jason McKinlay of Savoir Faire June 19

Jason reflects on the contrast between current calm conditions and the storms of previous days.

RACE UPDATE 07.00BST June 19

Race leaders the Islanders are on their way home! The Black Oyster and her crew turned south at John O’Groats at 05.00 this morning and are now 10 miles into the Moray Firth. With light winds forecast, they are heading directly for Peterhead, across open water. Savoir Faire are now at anchor 2.5miles north of Tobermory at the mouth of the Sound of Mull, waiting for the tide to turn in their favour before heading to the Skye Bridge.


After 18 days of racing, leaders the Islanders are about to turn south at John O’Groats. They have caught the racing tide in the Pentland Firth and are running at nearly five knots. Second place Savoir Faire are at Tobermory and about to leave the Sount of Mull. More later


Another thought-provoking blog from Jason McKinlay on Savoir Faire, for whom GBRow 2013 is proving to be a real journey of discovery in all manner of ways. Read more>


Transcript of radio conversation between Range Warden at Cape Wrath and the Islanders’ skipper Josh Taylor as the Black Oyster turned towards John O’Groats this morning:

VHF Radio: Good morning, would you like us to escort you out of the live fire bombing range..?

Josh Taylor: Errrm no. We’re rowing around Great Britain.

Meanwhile, second-place Savoir Faire made 6knots through the Corryvreckan whirlpools after catching the tide perfectly. This afternoon they will turn into the Sound of Mull.


No sooner had the Islander turned round Cape Wrath to head east, than they ran slap bang into a danger zone used by the RAF for live bombing practice! The Black Oyster is now hurrying out of the firing range. 2nd place Savoir Faire are near Oban. Read more>

Islanders at JuraRACE UPDATE 08.00BST Jun 18

They’ve done it! Race leaders the Islanders have inched around the corner. Josh Taylor and his crew in the Black Oyster have turned east at Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point in GBRow 2013. Now for John O’Groats and then the turn for home.


GBRow 2013 race leaders the Islanders have reached the top left-hand corner of the mainland. Almost 13 days after rounding Land’s End, the Black Oyster is approaching Cape Wrath. 160 miles south, Savoir Faire are half way up the island of Jura, making 3knots.


After a day of hell battling tides and winds, GBRow 2013 leaders the Islanders are 25miles from Cape Wrath. Savoir Faire have had a day of heavenly conditions off the Mull of Kintyre. Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr will anchor at midnight until 04.00. Read more>

VIDEO The Islanders at Corryvreckan June 17

The Islanders cross two of the dangerous whirlpools in the Sound of Jura:

BUCKET ETIQUETTE from Savoir Faire, June 17


It is the one question everyone asks, how do you go to the toilet in a non-stop 2,000-mile rowing race around Britain? Josh Tarr from Team Savoir Faire recruited his trusty companion Tough Ted to demonstrate how to answer the call of nature in various sea states in this handy bucket list.

In for force 0-4 winds just a bucket will do. In for 5-6 you also need a life jacket, force 7-8 requires a lifejacket and you must be tethered to the boat. In gale force 9 and above – simply pray!


Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr have safely crossed the North Channel into Scottish waters. They are now at anchor 3 miles off Machrihanish on the west of the Mull of Kintyre. The positive thoughts of millions of Chris Evans’ listeners on Radio 2 must have helped drive Savoir Faire across the 12-mile channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Leaders the Islanders, now north of Ullapool, are powering into head winds towards Cape Wrath.

VOICEBLOG Josh Taylor of the Islanders

Josh talks about the Islanders crossing of the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland on Friday/Saturday and how they encountered force 8 gales, forcing them to row from anchorage to anchorage in challenging conditions.


Savoir Faire

Savoir Faire

Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in second place Savoir Faire are now half way across the North Channel to the Mull of Kintyre. They lifted anchor in Northern Ireland just after 04.00. Leaders the Islanders are still at anchor near Ullapool waiting for the tide to turn to take them towards Cape Wrath, then on to John O’Groats before turning for London and the finish.


Race leaders the Islanders are now 60 miles south of the treacherous tidal races at Cape Wrath, the most NWesterly point in this epic journey. Hoping to reach John O’Groats by Tuesday. Second place Savoir Faire expected to cross to Scotland tonight. Read more>

VIDEO from the Islanders June 16

The Islanders encounter a group of seals off the Isle of Skye:

VIDEO The Islanders: Sunrise over the North Channel June 16

Josh and James at the oars as the Islanders cross the North Channel on their way from the Irish coast to Scotland:


Video posted last night by Jason of Savoir Faire reflecting on their progress during yesterday.

They are approaching the crossing to Scotland but an unexpected westerly wind slowed down progress.


GBRow 2013 race leaders the Islanders – with James Plumley and Gavin Sheehan at the oars of the Black Oyster – have just passed under Skye Bridge. Misty and grey. Doing 4knots at low water. Skipper Josh Taylor hopes to reach John O’Groats in three days.

photo3aFATHERS’ DAY BLOG from Jason McKinlay

Jason McKinlay on Savoir Faire in the Irish Sea, just south of Belfast, has posted a touching blog on Fathers’ Day, in tribute to his son Oliver. A daddy missing his boy. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 07.00 Jun 16

Speed bonny boat like a bird on the wing! Race leaders the Islanders have now reached the Isle of Skye. Josh Taylor and his crew on the Black Oyster will go under the world famous Skye Bridge later this morning. Meanwhile, Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Savoir Faire anchored for the night south of Belfast after unexpected westerly winds started blowing them towards the Isle of Man. They left at 4am and are now almost at the mouth of Belfast Lough. Will they reach Scotland today? Keep your eys on the GBRow 2013 tracker, folks!

RACE UPDATE 22.00 Jun 15

GBRow 2013 leaders the Islanders will reach Skye bridge tomorrow morning and possibly round Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point in their 2,000 mile unassisted row around Britain, by Monday. Second place Savoir Faire, now near Belfast, are expected to reach the Isle of Skye by Tuesday night.

YOUTUBE VIDEO of Savoir Faire June 15

Latest video from Savoir Faire in the Irish Sea south of Belfast June 15.

Islanders with Force 8 behindRACE UPDATE 16.00BST June 15

Race leaders the Islanders have sucessfully rowed across two terrifying whirlpools off the west of Scotland and are due at Skye Bridge tomorrow. Second place Savoir Faire are heading towards Belfast. Read more>


Exactly two weeks since GBRow 2013 – the world’s toughest rowing race – began, the two boats still competing are on the move again this morning. Leaders the Islanders set to the oars just after first light and are now north of Jura, heading towards Oban, before they turn left into the Sound of Mull. In the Irish Sea, second-place Savoir Faire have made real progress, clocking up nearly 20 miles since leaving anchor at just after 01.00. Winds in the Irish Sea area are still around 20 knots.

BLOG from SAVOIR FAIRE in the Irish Sea

Jason McKinlay on Savoir Faire has filed a blog about how he and Josh Tarr had to take shelter from battering 40mph winds in the Irish Sea yesterday. Read more>


After 60 miles of non-stop rowing, GBRow 2013 race leaders, the Islanders, are now at anchor, tucked inside the natural harbour at Kinuachdrachd on the north east tip of the island of Jura, less than 20 miles from Oban waiting for the tide to turn. Meanwhile, Savoir Faire are also at anchor south of Belfast waiting for the wind to drop.

RACE UPDATE 18.00BST June 14

dunlaoghaireRace Leaders the Islanders continue to progress up the Sound of Kerrera towards Oban on the west coast of Scotland, while second placed Savoir Faire are sheltering from heavy weather some 30 miles north of Dublin.

We’ve just had an email from the Dublin based sailing club Sailing in Dublin. Their members encountered Savoir Faire moored up at Dun Laoghaire sheltering from rough conditions yesterday. Here’s a photo of the guys at anchor from Sailing in Dublin’s Facebook page, where they comment:

“Tough conditions for DBSC Ruffian race tonight. Winds were gusting up to 26.7 knots or F6. On the way back to our mooring we spotted a rowing boat “Savoir Faire” anchored in the harbour. The rowing boat is taking part in an “EPIC 2,000 MILES NON-STOP RACE AROUND BRITAIN’S COAST” The crew have been rowing for 12 days so far and they are not a quarter way there yet so maybe tonight’s race was not that tough after all!”


Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in second-place Savoir Faire have anchored off Clogerhead near Dundalk. 40mph winds are forecast in the Irish Sea from 19.00 hours . They will wait for the wind to abate at about 01.00 tomorrow before leaving the safety of their anchorage. Leaders the Islanders are now approx 35miles from Oban.


Race leaders the Islanders are now almost as far north as Glasgow, now that GBRow 2013, the toughest rowing race in the world, has reached Scottish waters. Read more>

VIDEO The Islanders in the Irish Sea Jun 14

Josh Taylor and Alan Morgan of the Islanders put together a video blog while at anchor yesterday in stormy conditions off the coast of Northern Ireland. They reflect on the amazing first two weeks of racing, since the world’s toughest rowing race began at London’s Tower Bridge back on June 1.


GBRow2013_6168BLOG from SAVOIR FAIRE Jun 14

Great new blog in from Josh Tarr on Savoir Faire, filed just before Josh and Jason McKinlay set off from Dun Laoghaire towards Belfast in GBRow 2013. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 06.00 June 14

They made it! During the night, the Islanders safely navigated across the treacherous North Channel into Scottish waters off the Mull of Kintyre. Now on to the most beautiful part of the race, the stunning Highlands and Islands. Savoir Faire have moved north 15 miles. Now at anchor again in the islands off the village of Skerries, nr Dublin.

RACE UPDATE 22.00 June 13

Eyes on the tracker tonight, folks! The Islanders are back at anchor in a bay near Cushendun in Northern Ireland. They are waiting for the tide to turn in their favour at midnight to begin their attempt to make the 12-mile crossing to the Mull of Kintyre. Savoir Faire have moved off from their anchorage at Dun Laoghaire, south of Dublin

BBC NEWS: The Islanders Interviewed June 13

The Islanders were interviewed via their onboard camera on BBC Look East earlier today: Islanders interview

CAPTAIN’S BLOG – the Islanders June 13

GBRow2013_4713Latest blog from Josh Taylor, left, skipper of the Islanders aboard the Black Oyster waiting to make the 30-mile leap to the Isle of Mull. Read more>

SAVOIR PAIR – Blog 12.30BST Jun 13

New blog just in from Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in Savoir Faire, anchored in Dun Laoghaire harbour near Dublin. They were met outside the harbour at 1am by GBRow 2013 fans Mike and Naimh, aboard their yacht the Viola, who cheered on their encouragement to the brave pair of rowers who are in second place. Read more>


The Islanders are on the move and crossing the mouth of Belfast Lough. After spending the night at anchor they are now heading towards the Mull of Kintyre – just over 30 miles away. Second place Savoir Faire are still near Dublin. More later…


The Islanders are safely tucked out of the wind at anchor in the natural harbour at Groomsport near Bangor on the Northern Ireland coast. While further south in the Irish Sea, near Dublin, Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay in Savoir Faire are still rowing at 3knots, waiting for the weather to deteriorate. If a storm does come in, they plan to anchor and sit it out.

RACE UPDATE 20.00BST June 12

As day 11 draws to a close the Islanders have made 25 miles since leaving anchor late this morning. They are hugging the coast waiting for tonight’s storm to blow in. Meanwhile 100 miles south the crew of Savoir Faire are at anchor north of Wicklow awaiting predicted strong winds and rough seas.


Portrait of Chris UsborneBoth the Islanders and Savoir Faire make preparations for a storm brewing in the Irish Sea later today. Race Director Chris Usborne has file his latest blog… Read more >

RACE UPDATE 12.00 BST June 12

Back on the move! With a change in the wind and sea conditions earlier this morning, Race leaders the Islanders have been able to get back on the move after spending a frustrating night at anchor due to the weather conditions. Second placed Savoir Faire further south in the Irish Sea having been able to keep rowing most of the night and maintain a gap of some 80 miles behind the leaders.

RACE UPDATE 08.00 BST Jun 12

With the wind blowing unhelpfully from the north-west, race leaders the Islanders have spent nine frustrating hours at anchor south of Belfast. They have now dropped 70 miles behind the world record schedule. Second-place Savoir Faire managed to keep rowing again during the night and are now approx 80 miles behind the leaders. More follows later.


David Hosking, skipper of Team Hallin, has filed his final blog after being forced to give up the race when their boat suffered mechanical problems off Lands End. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 23.00 BST Jun 11

Following five hours at anchor this afternoon in waves the size of double-decker buses, the Islanders began rowing again at tea time and tonight the crew in the Black Oyster are seeking shelter at anchor again in the lee of a bay near Minerstown, northern Ireland. Read more>

CAPTAIN’S BLOG: Savoir Faire Jun 11

Interview just in. Jason McKinlay on Savoir Faire tells of ‘horrible’ conditions in the Irish Sea last night. He and Josh Tarr are now preparing for a possible storm brewing up tomorrow. Read more>


The Islanders’ relentless row up the east coast of Ireland continued apace overnight. The race leaders in GBRow 2013 are now 25 miles north of Dublin, and 50 miles south of Belfast. If the weather holds, by tomorrow the Islanders in the Black Oyster could in Scottish waters. Second-place Savoir Faire are now off the Pembrokeshire coast. Race HQ received a short sat phone message last night to say all was well with Josh Tarr and Jason McKinlay.

VOICEBLOG Josh Taylor of the Islanders

Josh talks about how The Islanders caught the tidal window at Land’s End to maintain their lead, but then encountered a headwind putting setting back their pace.

RACE UPDATE 18.00 BST Jun 10

The Islanders are taking advantage of ideal conditions off the Irish coast to battle their way back on to world record schedule. Tonight the race leaders will attempt to use the tide to race past Dublin and on to Belfast. In second place, Savoir Faire are now 70 miles north of Land’s End. Check out some great photos from the SF boat. Read more>

VIDEO The Islanders encounter a pod of dolphins

Great footage of dolphins leaping around the boat (from the Islanders Facebook page):

VOICEBLOG Sally Kettle of the Coast Girls talks about their decision to withdraw from the race

VIDEO The Islanders

Race Director Chris Usborne travelled out to meet The Islanders as they passed Lands End at sunset on June 05, interviewing them from a motorboat. Subjects discussed included their calorie intake of 5000 calories a day, and 3-4 hours sleep patterns.


Race leaders, The Islanders, have made the most of good conditions in the night to pull back lost time to get back onto world record schedule. Savoir Faire in second place are now in the Celtic Sea, 30 miles past Land’s End. Read more>

PHOTO ALBUM Race Director’s week 1 Photo Album

IMG_5135Photos posted on Facebook from Race Director Chris Usborne, beginning with the boats going in the water at South Dock the day before the start, though to the withdrawal of teams Pure Gym and Oarsome Adventures: Week 1 Photo Album If you are a Facebook user take a look and add your own comments to the photos.


Race leaders, The Islanders have spent the day in scorching sun and flat calm seas trying to catch up on the World Record pace in GBRow 2013. Gavin Sheehan has now recovered from his back injury. Interview with Black Oyster crew just in. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 18.00BST June 09

The plan worked! Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr in second-placed Savoir Faire are safely round Land’s End and were making more than three knots north up the Celtic Sea with a light tail wind. Race Headquarters have just come off the Satphone to the Islanders. Gavin Sheehan is on the oars again after suffering back strain. Full report of the interview with The Islanders to follow…

RACE UPDATE 13.06BST June 09

Savoir Faire in second place have begun their move to round Land’s End. They’ve caught the tide and are doing nearly 4knots heading towards the most south-westerly point in GBRow 2013 – the world’s toughest rowing race. More later…

RACE UPDATE 13.00BST June 09

Team Pure Gym

Team Pure Gym

Team Pure Gym have been forced to quit their supported attempt to row 2,000 miles around Great Britain. Recurrence of the electrical problem that caused the boat to lose all power off Salcombe last week, means the team skipper Claire Shouksmith took the ‘heartbreaking’ decision, at just after 11 this morning at Penzance Harbour, to finally abandon eight days into their attempt.

VIDEO David Hosking, Team Hallin

David Hosking, Skipper of Team Hallin, tells how the failure of their autohelm forced them to retire from the race.

RACE UPDATE 08.00 BST June 09

The Islanders have safely navigated the Bristol Channel and are now 30miles west of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire. Savoir Faire are poised ready to use this morning’s tide to ‘slingshot’ around Land’s End. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 20.00 BST June 08

The Islanders are on the move tonight after 36 hours at anchor. Savoir Faire won’t round Land’s End now until tomorrow morning to use favourable winds. Read more>

BLOG and VIDEO from Savoir Faire

Jason writes: So it’s been a long day today starting with an early rise to check what time would be best to leave Salcombe… Read more >

PHOTOS of Oarsome Adventures Recovery by RNLI Padstow

Photos from George Barnes showing the Padstow RNLI Lifeboat returning to port after the 6 hour trip to recover Oarsome Adventures following failure of their steering gear:

P1010126Photo: George Barnes
More photos of Oarsome Adventures and the Lifeboat at Padstow: Oarsome rescue photos

VIDEO Oarsome Adventures

Oarsome Adventures filmed off the tip of Land’s End when things were still going well for them…

VOICEBLOG From Charlene Ayres of the Coast Girls

Message from Charlene thanking everyone who supported her and Sally in their entry for GB Row 2013

RACE UPDATE 08.16BST June 08

Exactly one week after GBRow 2013 began in London, two boats still in the race. Leaders Islanders are at sea anchor 50 miles west of Bude resting and waiting for the wind to turn southerly to take them up the Irish Sea. Second place Savoir Faire are at the Lizard and will attempt to round Land’s End later today. Read more>

BBC news items on GB Row 2013 June 07

VOICEBLOG from Mikey Buckley of Oarsome Adventures June 07

Mikey Buckley of Oarsome Oarsome Adventures tells how huge waves and strong winds wrecked the steering gear on their boat ending Oarsome Adventures hopes of rowing round Britain. They are now going to drown their sorrows in Padstow.

RACE UPDATE 18.00 BST June 07

Oarsome Adventures crew talk of their disappointment that a mechanical defect wrecked their awsome attempt to win the world’s toughest rowing race. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 17.18BST June 07

Oarsome Adventures arrive into the Camel Estuary, towed by Padstowe lifeboat after suffering damage to their steering system 40 miles out in the Bristol Channel. More to follow.

RACE UPDATE 13.36BST June 07

The race ended in despair earlier this afternoon for Oarsome Adventures who had to be towed in by an all-weather lifeboat following a steering problem on board. The boat had been chasing race leaders The Islanders before disaster struck leaving her drifting in north-westerly winds 40 miles off the Cornish coast. She is due to arrive in Padstow at approximately 17.20hrs.

BLOG POST from Josh Tarr of Savoir Faire

Josh’s news of yesterday’s rowing and their contact with family and friends as they passed their home port of Salcombe, plus his comments on the fortunes of other teams. Read more >

RACE UPDATE 12.35BST June 07

Race leaders The Islanders have put out anchors after reports that crew member Gavin Sheehan, 23, has suffered a sprained back. Gavin, who has experienced back trouble before, is expected to continue the race after a rest. The Islanders are currently 48 miles off the west Devon coast and six miles ahead of Oarsome Adventures, which has steering problems. A lifeboat is expected to reach her in the near future to assess the situation. More later.

RACE UPDATE 12.05 BST June 07

Padstow lifeboat has been called to the assistance of second placed Oarsome Adventures following reports of problems with the steering on board. She is currently said to be drifting in a south westerly direction, driven by a north westerly wind, approximately 45 miles off the Devon coast. The lifeboat is expected at the scene in an estimated 20 minutes. Previously, in the English Channel on June 03, the crew of Oarsome Adventures were able to repair their steering using the boat’s flagpole. More to follow.

VIDEO Pure Gym go fishing

While waiting for their tow yesterday following total electrical failure, the crew of team Pure Gym had time to do a little fishing. They managed to land a decent sized mackerel…

RACE UPDATE 09.00BST June 07

AFTER yesterday’s drama at sea – rescued by a lifeboat following a total electrics failure – Pure Gym are back in GBRow 2013…with a new crew member. Read more >

RACE UPDATE 06.00BST June 07

The battle for the lead in GBRow 2013 continued relentlessly throughout the night as Oarsome Adventures chased down leader The Islanders in the Celtic Sea. Oarsome, rowed by a crew of six, including five Celtic longboat racers, is at home in these rough waters off the west coast of Britain. A couple of hours ago, they cut the Islanders’ lead to just five miles but in the last hour, the Islanders have increased their pace and drew just miles ahead of the chasers. Read more >


Apologies to all Yellowbrickies avidly following GBRow2013 on the tracker – the team have been working flat out to restore the social media feed on the tracker display. Please bear with us, normal service should resume soon.


Pure Gym, rescued today after electrical failure, rejoins GBRow 2013 at 8am tomorrow at Salcombe in Devon to continue their epic 2,000-mile journey. Read more>


Race Director Chris Usborne looks back on an amazing day in the world’s toughest rowing race which saw three boats being rescued.

RACE UPDATE 18.00BST June 06

June 6 truly is the longest day in GBRow 2013. Three boats – half the field – had to be rescued today after problems at sea, as this 2,000 mile epic journey around Britain’s coast lived up to its reputation as the world’s toughest rowing race. Read more>

VOICEBLOG From Steve Patterson of Team Pure Gym June 06

Steve recounts how a total electrical failure caused Pure Gym to seek assistance at Salcombe. Steve tells us they intend to resume their journey – with a startling development in the team lineup…

RACE UPDATE 16.00 BST June 06

IMG_3362The race is over for Team Hallin. The crew and their boat Hallin Marine II are currently being towed to Penzance, after breaking their steering gear near Land’s End. Attempts to repair the damage failed, so skipper David Hosking was forced to request a tow from a motor boat. Team Pure Gym are repairing their electrical system at Salcombe and hope to restart their journey tomorrow, though under race rules because they have had assistance they can no longer race for prizes. More later.

RACE UPDATE 12.00 BST Jun 06

Four crew members of Pure Gym crew arrive safe and well at Salcombe after taking a tow from Salcombe lifeboat this morning. The boat suffered a total failure of the electrical system, which controls navigation, communications and water maker.

RACE UPDATE 11.45 BST June 06

Team Hallin are anchored in the tidal race off Longships near Land’s End desperately trying to repair damaged steering gear. More soon

VOICEBLOG from Heather-Rees Gaunt, Oarsome Adventures

Heather talks about her team Oarsome Adventures overtaking Hallin Marine to take second place in the race earlier this morning:


Team Pure Gym are out of the race. The crew of four battled all night to repair the boat’s electrics which stopped working at 22.30 yesterday off Start Point in Devon. Unable to fix the electric systems, which control watermaking and navigation, skipper Claire Shouksmith contacted Brixham Coastguard Ops – who had been monitoring the situation thoughout the night – and called for assistance. Brixham lifeboat is now towing Pure Gym to Salcombe, where they will arrive within the hour. Update shortly.

RACE UPDATE 09.00 BST June 06

After five days’ racing, Oarsome Adventures stormed into second place just before 09.00, overtaking Team Hallin in rough seas off Land’s End. Jubilant Heather Rees-Gaunt said: “We thrive in rough seas! The race is on.”

RACE ALERT! 08.48 BST June 06

Eyes on the Yellowbrick tracker, folks! Oarsome Adventures have Hallin Marine II in their sights. OA now just 800 yards behind and expect to overtake Team Hallin going around Land’s End. Keep you posted…

RACE UPDATE 07.00 BST June 06

Team Hallin miss the tidal window to ‘slingshot’ around Land’s End and now on the sea anchor waiting for the tide to turn, allowing Oarsome Adventures to close the gap between second and third to just three miles. Leaders, The Islanders, now nearly 20 miles ahead. Coast Girl Charlene Ayres is receiving routine treatment in hospital in Ramsgate for dehydration after days of sea sickness. We wish her a speedy recovery.

RACE UPDATE 06.00BST June 06

Coast Girls forced to quit race. Charlene Ayres taken to hospital for routine check-up after five day ordeal in Thames Estuary. Leaders battle it out at Land’s End. First place team, The Islanders open up a 15-mile lead. Team Hallin appear to have turned back at Land’s End. Oarsome Adventures, in third, closing in on second-place Hallin. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 04.00 BST June 06

Team Hallin in second place are now passing Land’s End. The Islanders, in first place, have opened up the lead and are now 12miles north of Land’s End. Oarsome Adventures have turned past the Lizard and are in Mount’s Bay, near Penzance, 13miles behind Team Hallin. All three are well ahead of World Record pace.

RACE UPDATE 02.42 BST June 06

Coast Girls low res1GBRow President Will de Laszlo announces the Coast Girls are out of the race. After their anchors dragged during the night leaving them perilously close to the shore just north of Ramsgate, Sally Kettle and Charlene Ayres called for assistance from the coastguard. They are now safe at the port of Ramsgate.

RACE UPDATE 22.30 BST June 05

Coast Girls are drgging both anchors on the Kent coast. Team Hallin fear they may have missed the tide window for rounding Land’s End tonight, which could let third place Oarsome Adventures catch up. Leaders, The Islanders on target to reach Land’s End in the next few hours. Read more>

VOICEBLOG from Sally Kettle of the Coast Girls 20.30 June 05

A second message from the Coast Girls in which Sally tells us how important the many messages of support have been as they battled against treacherous tides and adverse winds off Margate: Brilliant blog just in from Josh Tarr on Savoir Faire at anchor tonight near Portland Bill, waiting for the tide to turn. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 20.00 BST Jun 05

Land’s End ahoy! The leaders turn north as the exciting battle at the sharp end of the world’s toughest rowing race reaches Britain’s most southerly point. Read more>

VOICEBLOG Sally Kettle, the Coast Girls 18.00BST June 05

RACE UPDATE 16.00BST June 05

Islanders almost at the Lizard – expecting to turn the corner in the next hour. First, second and third placed boats are all ahead of the World Record pace now.

BLOG from Savoir Faire June 05 14.22

GBRow2013md_M465aWe are 55.7 miles from Start Point. We’ll have to stop in a few hours (5-6ish) because of the tides but we’ll be underway again around9-10pm…Physically tough day but good progress made…We’re pleased but wonder how much longer we can sustain this level of effort…No idea what time we might be around Salcombe or when. Jase

DON’T MISS THIS! Official video of the start

Footage of the race start last Saturday now published showing the Royal Rowing Barge Gloriana leading the GB Row contestants under Tower Bridge at the start of their 2000 mile voyage. Some great views of Gloriana, the teams and a surprisingly busy river at 8 o’clock on a Saturday morning.

CAPTAIN’S BLOG Team Hallin Day 4

The hunt for Black Oyster brought back memories of hunting submarines in the Royal Navy for Team Hallin’s skipper, David Hosking. Latest blog. Read more>

AWESOME OARSOME! BLOG from Race Director Chris Usborne

Race Director Chris Usborne caught up with Oarsome Adventure’s crew off Start Point in Devon this morning. Check out his blog and photos. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 06.00 BST June 05

Land’s End ahoy! Race leaders will reach Land’s End today – the most southerly point in GBRow 2013. And they’re ahead of World Record schedule! Read more>


The Islanders are off Salcombe in Devon and have their eyes firmly fixed on Land’s End. Read more>


Double World Championship bronze medallist Robin Bourne-Taylor rowed for Oxford four times in the Boat Race. He is supporting The Islanders. Read more>

VOICEBLOG from the Coast Girls June 04

RACE UPDATE 20.00 BST June 04

A gripping battle between the experience of ex-naval officer David Hosking and young skipper Josh Taylor is being played out off the south Devon coast. Read more>

CAPTAIN’S BLOG Team Pure Gym June 04

Blog just in from Claire Shouksmith, skipper of Pure Gym. Read more>

VOICEBLOG from Sally of the Coast Girls

VOICEBLOG from Charlene of the Coast Girls

RACE UPDATE 10.00BST June 04

In phone updates with the Race Director this morning, Team Pure Gym have confirmed that they had considered heading through the Solent but having assessed the tides are now heading to the south side of the Isle of Wight. The Coast Girls reported that they attempted night rowing during the small hours but with Charlene still suffering the effect of two days of sickness they had to anchor up again while she gathers her strength back in preparation for a full day’s rowing today.

RACE UPDATE 09.00BST June 04

The excitement is mounting with race leaders The Islanders remaining ahead of the record pace and second placed Team Hallin close to it. Both teams have given the treacherous waters of Portland a wide berth and are now heading into Lyme Bay with a favourable tailwind. Read more >

CAPTAIN’S BLOG – Team Hallin Marine.

New blog just in from David Hosking on board Hallin Marine II. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 02.00 BST June 04

The Islanders have pulled ahead of world record pace! With approx 70 miles to go to their next way point – Start Point, near Salcombe in Devon – the four-man crew of the Black Oyster, skippered by Josh Tarr, are now in front of the pace recorded in 2005 by the Grenadier Guards crew who set the Guinness World Record of 26 days 21 hours 14 mins. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 18.00 BST June 03

The dash for Start Point starts tonight! The four leading crews in GBRow 2013, the world’s toughest rowing race are now at anchor or battling against the tide south of the Isle of Wight. Read more>

VOICEBLOG from Sally Kettle of the Coastgirls

RACE LATEST 14.00 June 03

Leaders, the Islanders live up to their name by being the first boat to reach the southern tip of the Isle of Wight. Now heading for Start Point. Read more>

CAPTAIN’S BLOG Oarsome Adventures

Latest blog: Heather Rees-Gaunt on Boudica tells how Oarsome Adventures are now back in the race. Read more>

CAPTAIN’S BLOG Team Hallin Marine

New blog in from David Hosking, skipper of Hallin Marine 2. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 08.00 BST June 03

The crew of Oarsome Adventures have had their first cup of coffee since leaving Tower Bridge 48 hours ago! After hours of battling, the watermaker on Boudica has been repaired. Skipper Mikey Buckley also fixed the auto helm, using a piece of the boat’s flagpole.

CAPTAIN’S BLOG – Team Pure Gym

Blog just in from Claire Shouksmith, skipper of Pure Gym. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 06.00 BST June 03

The Islanders are still around eight miles ahead of Team Hallin Marine, as the fleet takes advantage of an easterly wind to head south of the Isle of Wight. No news yet this morning from Oarsome Adventures on whether they have managed to repair the watermaker. Oarsome Adventures are currently off Newhaven, 14 miles ahead of Pure Gym, who are approaching Beachy Head. Savoir Faire are on the move near Rye and the Coast Girls will be on the anchor off Herne Bay for another couple of hours until the tide turns. With almost 48 hours gone, the fleet is spread over 125miles.


As Will de Laszlo’s parents, we followed him and his amazing three fellow oarsmen around the British Isles eight years ago, online and with excursions to cheer them on from the shore. We know what sort of grit it takes to complete the course – the very best of luck to all six brave crews. We will be watching your progress in the great hope of success in crossing the finishing line …every day is an achievement in itself.

RACE UPDATE 20.00 BST June 02

After 36 hours at sea, Hallin Marine II, skippered by David Hosking were closing in on leaders, The Islanders, but in the last hour the gap between first and second has opened up again to eight miles.

Third-placed Oarsome Adventures’ crew of six were hit by mechanical problems this evening. Read more>

RACE UPDATE 12.00 noon BST June 02

The Islanders, Team Hallin Marine and Oarsome Adventures are all safely past Dover, with only eight miles separating the first three boats. Leaders, the Islanders, are currently on world record time with a tail wind predicted tomorrow, creating the perfect conditions for rowing along the South Coast.


All boats advised by Race Director to keep well clear of Dover Harbour. Minimum 1 mile. This has been requested by Dover Harbour Master.

CAPTAINS BLOG Team Hallin Marine

Race Report Day 1 just in from Skipper David Hosking read more>

RACE UPDATE 09.00BST June 02

With 24 hours gone, the Islanders – Josh Taylor, Alan Morgan, James Plumley and Gavin Sheehan have come safely through Dover’s busy shipping lane and are heading towards Hastings with a five-mile lead on the fleet. Hallin Marine are now in second, having overtaken Oarsome Adventures during the night. Both are now approaching Dover and its busy Continental ferry lanes. Pure Gym in fourth have passed Ramsgate, while the men’s pair in Savoir Faire anchored off the Thanet coast after rowing trough the night. The CoastGirls – Charlene Ayres and Sally Kettle – are near Whitstable, 50 miles behind the leaders after a spell at anchor. Perfect weather for a world record time. Sunny with light NW winds.

RACE UPDATE 22.45BST June 01

As night fell the Islanders had pulled 7 miles ahead of Oarsome Adventures. However Hallin Marine and Oarsome Adventures were almost neck and neck off Herne Bay in Kent, while Pure Gym were 4 miles behind in 4th place just over a mile ahead of Savoir Faire. After anchoring near Gravesend Yacht Club Charlene Ayres and Sally Kettle, the Coast Girls, were near Canvey Island 26 miles behind the leaders. Have a safe night rowers at the end of a brilliant day!

THE START 08.16BST June 01

GBRow2013md_M167At 08.16 BST on Saturday, June 1, the Queen’s Rowing Barge Gloriana led the six competing boats beneath Tower Bridge in London to officially start this epic race. Six brave crews will row 2,000 miles non-stop and unassisted around the coast of mainland Britain.

The six teams are chasing the current world record for completing the gruelling journey though some of the most treacherous waters on the planet. The current record stands at 26 days 21 hours and 14 minutes. The first boat to break that record will win a £100,000 bounty – the richest prize in rowing anywhere in the world. Race Director Chris Usborne said: “The weather is perfect for a fast start.” The first crew to beat the fastest-time record of 26 days 21 hrs 14 mins will win a £100,000 BONUS – the world’s richest rowing prize.

Update 16.00BST June 01

After eight hours the six crews racing in GBRow 2013 were still in the River Thames after starting at Tower Bridge in the heart of London at 8.16 this morning. The Islanders, a team of four young men, led by adventurer Josh Taylor from Essex, were in the lead off Southend – one mile ahead of Oarsome Adventures, a team of four men and two women from west Wales. Retired Royal Navy Commander David Hosking’s team, Hallin Marine, were in third place but catching up fast – less than a third of a mile behind Oarsome Adventures. Savoir Faire – Jason McKinley and Josh Tarr – were ahead of Pure Gym, a team of four skippered by Claire Shouksmith. Trailing 12 miles behind the leaders after eight hours were the Coast Girls, Sally Kettle and Charlene Ayres in their distinctive red ocean going boat. For the next four hours the tide in the Thames Estuary will be against the competitors. Chris Usborne, Race Director of GBRow 2013, said: “The rowers will have to endure the world’s busiest shipping lanes, treacherous tides, live military firing ranges and storms before they return to London. “The weather for the first days of the race is perfect for setting a world record pace.”

TEAM BLOG 18.50BST June 01: Claire Shouksmith, Team Pure Gym

Day 1: 10 hours in, 39 nmiles covered. We really enjoyed the start of the race, it was great to see so many friendly faces. Thanks for coming to see us. We would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us get to the start line, especially Aaron Scott of ABsolute AQua who was invaluable and our Sponsors Pure Gym. Since the start highlights have included a fly by from a friendly micro light and inadvertently getting involved in a flotilla of Canal boats Chicken Tikka was this evening’s meal, I skipped the popodums and Naan though. You can view the latest progress of all teams on the GB Row raceviewer


Interested in Competing?

The next race will take place in two years time. If you are thinking about taking part in GB Row 2015, register your interest now with Race Organiser Chris Usborne – email:

The six crews of rowers are all chasing a £100,000 bounty – the richest prize ever offered in rowing anywhere on the planet. This monster payout will go to the first crew to smash the current world record for the 2,000-mile odyssey, which stands at just under 27 days. To beat the record, the winning crew will have to average around 80 miles a day through the busiest shipping lanes on earth and some of the world’s most treacherous tidal passages. And that’s not taking account of the notoriously unpredictable British weather. The race will be contested by three crews of four, two pairs and a crew of six. THE CREWS ARE: Boat no 1: The Coast Girls: Beautician Charlene Ayres, 23, from Cardiff and adventurer Sally Kettle, from Kingston, will row their boat Pendovey Swift. Boat number 2: Team Pure Gym GB Challenge: Claire Shouksmith, from Bournemouth will row with Steve Paterson from Oxford and Ingrid Kvale from Bristol in their boat Pure Gym. Boat number 3: Team Hallin: Ex-Royal Navy Commander David Hosking is skipper of Hallin Marine 2. He is rowing with Neil Ward, originally from Pembrokeshire but now lives in France, Julian Bellido from Gibraltar and Stuart Chamberlayne, from Couldson, Surrey. Boat number 4: The Islanders: Childhood friends Josh Taylor and Alan Morgan from Mersea Island, Essex are joined by James Plumley, from Guernsey and Gavin Sheehan from, Cork, southern Ireland. Boat number 5: Withdrawn Boat number 6: Oarsome Adventures: Skipper Heather Rees-Gaunt will row with four men: Karl Steans; Sam Clemmens; Mikey Buckley and Ian Kavanagh plus Beatrix Parry (20). Boat number 7: Savoir Faire: Adventurer Jason McKinlay and sound recordist Josh Tarr, from Salcombe, Devon, are the only men’s pair rowing in the race. Boat number 8: Team Ocean Pedal Challenge: Unfortunately this boat has been withdrawn following scrutineering which raised a number of safety issues. The teams will row non-stop and unassisted from London, around Land’s End, up to John O’Groats and back to the capital. They will all be trying to beat the world record of 26 days, 21 hours and 14 minutes set in 2005 by a four-man crew from the Grenadier Guards who were almost drowned when their boat, no bigger than a family car, was hit by a Force Ten storm in the Irish Sea. The race sets off from HMS President at high tide – around 8am – on Saturday, June 1. The crews will row upstream under Tower Bridge before turning around, going back under the bridge and heading out to sea. They will row non-stop and unaided living on the food and water they carry on the boat and the first crew home in less than 26 days 21 hours and 14 minutes will win a

£100,000 bonus

There is also a £15,000 prize for the first boat home, £6,000 for second and £4,000 for the third crew to finish.

The race will raise funds for two charities – Walking with the Wounded and Leukaemia Research.

walking-with-the-wounded llr


Over EASTER, crews began their sea trials in preparation for the race.

hallin-tower-bridge2Team Hallin carried out trials on the River Thames over the Easter weekend – one of the coldest on record – when frost formed on the deck overnight while one of the crew slept on deck. The crew rowed from their launch location at Shepperton, spending three days and nights on the water. At one point their water maker and fuel cell froze! Their route went downriver to Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford, with a variety of crew and boat drills carried out en route. After a generally successful but cold trial the boat was taken out of the water and prepared for scrutineering, which took place successfully four days later. The full story of Team Hallin’s sea trial is on their team page – including an account of their unexpected encounter with a robbery! 26th March: Launch of Hallin 2


Sophie Hosking launches Hallin Marine 2

Hallin Marine 2 was officially launched on 26th March by skipper David Hosking’s daughter Sophie, gold medal rower from the London Olympics. After pouring champagne over the bow of the double-cabined, 24-four-feet long ocean racing boat, Sophie – winner with Kat Copeland of the women’s double lightweight sculls – admitted rowing round Britain does not appeal to her at all. Sophie, 27, said: “I think he’s nuts in the nicest possible way! You wouldn’t catch me doing that but it’s his dream and I’ll be supporting him…from dry land.” Gold medallist Sophie joined David, from Wimbledon along with his crew, Neil Ward, 47, Julian Bellido and Stuart Chamberlyne on a training exercise in Hallin Marine 2 on the River Thames at Shepperton. Falklands veteran David, 58, said: “I’ve been around the coast about 20 times in Naval ships and I know just how bad it can be. Once off Cape Wrath in the north of Scotland we were hit by 110 knot winds! “But if we get good weather the record can be broken.”

Check out more videos of teams on YouTube GBRow 2013

Teams meet up for pre-race briefing at Bristol

Cptn-pics1Skippers and crews attended the GBRow 2013 crews’ seminar in Bristol on February 2 – just four months before the start of the richest rowing race ever, which starts at Tower Bridge in London on Saturday, June 1. Will de Laszlo, skipper of the crew who in 2005 set the world record for rowing around Britain of just over 26 days passed on his knowledge of the world’s toughest rowing race to this year’s contestants. Sgt Jim Bastin, a member of the record-breaking crew in 2005, revealed that he had never rowed a boat before rowing around Britain. His only experience was on Concept 2 machines in military gyms. As well as rowing – which he soon got the hang of – Jim was in charge of the boat’s water maker and food supplies. Will explained how team dynamics are one of the keys to success in breaking the record. Your crew will be living in a boat not much bigger than a family saloon for at least a month. BelindaKirkBelinda Kirk, who led the Seagals team in 2010 to set the ladies record of 52 days explained how un-seasonal winds hampered their attempt. Her all-female crew faced headwinds virtually the whole way round the 2000-mile course. She believes the weather during June will be the key to whether the record of 26 days 21 hours 14 minutes can be broken. Belinda says: “The weather conditions in 2005 and 2010 were totally different. The 2005 crew had strong south-westerlies behind them as they went through the Irish Sea. We were hit by northerlies up the whole of our journey up the west coast and when we turned south at the Pentland Firth, the wind switched to southerlies!” Six skippers and members of their crews – who will be among ten boats attempting the race around Britain chasing the £100,000 bounty – attended the meeting in Bristol to learn more about the arduous conditions they face during GB Row 2013. During food break at the Bristol seminar, GBRow 2013 skippers and crews tucked into sample ration packs and energy drinks kindly provided by Dave Annandale of Be Well Expedition Foods. Dave, an adventurer and mountaineer, has devised the meals from his experience on expeditions all over the globe. He has offered crews taking part in GBRow 2013 a special discount deal on ration packs. Dave revealed that porridge and strawberries was one of the favourite flavours sampled by the rowers in Bristol! More info or contact Dave Annandale on or call 01778 560868 or m 07799 114572.